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CUs Told To Observe 'As Members Do, Not Just Say,' At Mo. CU Meeting Kickoff
BRANSON, Mo. (10/24/13)--Credit unions can learn about their members by focusing more on their actions and less on their words, according to a speaker at the Missouri Credit Union Association's (MCUA) 2013 Convention and Expo.
Brent Dixon, a designer and consultant, told the credit union audience that by
Brent Dixon, a designer and consultant, told his credit union audience that by focusing on how members behave and react, credit unions can better map out what consumers want from financial institutions. (MCUA Photo)
employing "design thinking" and by focusing on how members behave and react, credit unions can better map out what consumers want from financial institutions.
"Observe actual behavior," he said. "Ask open-ended questions. You really need to be intuitive and read between the lines in these instances."

Dixon suggested, as an example, that credit unions be wary of extreme answers when analyzing member surveys, and told attendees to look at averages when answers deviate significantly.

Also during the session, meeting attendees indicated they did not think a majority of consumers really understood credit unions.
In an on-the-spot poll answered through their smartphones, almost three-quarters of attendees (73%) said they believe that most consumers "don't understand credit unions and need to understand basics." Another 23% said that they believe most consumers "understand credit unions somewhat and need more education."

To remedy this perceived knowledge gap, Mike O'Brien, vice president of marketing for St. Louis Community CU, suggested that credit union staffers advocate on behalf of their industry whenever given the chance--even among family and friends. Michelle Rosner, vice president of sales and marketing for 1st Financial FCU, urged her colleagues to invite members to attend chapter meetings with them.

The MCUA convention was held on Oct. 22 in Branson, Mo. Roughly 250 credit union professionals from Missouri, Oklahoma and Mississippi participated.


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